Obama May Face First Veto Override: Medical Device Tax

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Posted June 18, 2015 at 4:07pm

President Barack Obama has his work cut out for him if he’s going to avoid House Republicans nixing part of the Affordable Care Act with a veto override.  

The 2.3 percent tax on medical devices enacted as part of that law passed Thursday in the House 280-140, giving Republicans hope they’ll have the votes for an override, which requires a two-thirds majority. That came with a dozen Republicans absent for the vote. Every Republican present and 46 Democrats voted to nuke the tax. A nonbinding vote to repeal the medical device tax passed the Senate with a veto-proof majority backed by 34 members of the Democratic caucus as part of the 2013 budget resolution vote-a-rama in the Senate, but never got anywhere with then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., putting the clamps down on the chamber.  

But that vote was on a revenue-neutral proposal, while the House-passed bill would simply add about $24 billion to the debt over a decade.  

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has made repealing the medical device tax a part of his agenda, so some version seems likely t0 get to Obama’s desk whenever McConnell can find floor time to squeeze it in.


See photos, follies, HOH Hits and Misses and more at Roll Call’s new video site.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.